Protein Folding: Your Chance To Help (and Whup AnandTech) Starting Dec 1

Update, 11/30/16, 9:48am PT: We originally had the wrong time zone listed in the article below. The correct time/time zone is 1pm ET. We have adjusted the article to reflect the correct time/time zones.

Hardly a day goes by during which I fail to be stunned by my good fortune of being part of Tom’s Hardware. Even when I have to read product review copy late into the night. Even when commenters are berating us for our obvious <insert vendor here> bias. Even when vendors hunt me down to lament their poor performance in a review (or when they call my bosses to do the same).

And certainly, I don’t fail to realize my luck when I am getting briefed on the next big CPU or GPU, or trying some new VR game. And most certainly when I’m walking around somewhere with my Tom’s Hardware hat on, and a perfect stranger approaches to tell me how many times our community has helped them solve a problem. 

Yes, I know I’m lucky.

So lucky that often I get a little twinge of guilt that, in some way, I get to play for a living. Are we doing any good in the world, I sometimes wonder? I’m sure indirectly that we do, but it is rare that we have a chance to do something that directly and specifically makes the world better.

This is one of those rare times, and I need your help and generosity.

The Tom’s Hardware and AnandTech community teams have spurred the kick-off of an annual Folding for Charity event, helping out the Folding@Home distributed computing program organized by Stanford University.

Just to make this a little more engaging, we’re going to be going up against the community team of AnandTech. The team that accumulates the most points wins, and while that pales in comparison to the opportunity before us, make no mistake: winning matters! I know that my friend and colleague, Ryan Smith, is sitting over there in front of all of his cute little Apple products, silly with content that the AnandTech (I think that’s how you spell it) community is going to win this thing, so I implore you to help us show who’s boss.

For those who don’t know what this is, “folding” refers to protein folding, the process by which proteins “assemble themselves” prior to performing their bodily functions, including fighting disease. When these proteins don’t fold as they are supposed to, it can lead to a variety of diseases, like cancer, Alzheimer's, ALS, AIDS, Parkinson’s, and more.

Folding@Home allows people and entities like us to contribute idle/spare computing resources to help researchers combat these illnesses. 

All you need to do is leave the Folding@Home program running on any and all PCs whenever you can — while you’re sleeping, or at work, or all day long for that matter. (In fact, just stop working that week and give us all your company’s compute resources.) Every contribution your compute cycles generate will help in advancing treatments for these diseases, and even — we hope — cures one day.

Tom's Hardware and AnandTech are both under the Purch company umbrella, and Purch is sponsoring this event. Purch is going to donate $2,500 to the charity Child’s Play in the name of the winning team.

The Tom’s Hardware and AnandTech community teams are almost always folding as it is. Tom’s Hardware’s Folding team has been around since 2004. But this race will officially kick off on December 1 at 1pm Eastern. It will end on December 7, at 1pm Eastern. And it's open to all of Tom's Hardware readers and community members. Certainly once this event ends, we hope you stick around and continue, joining our fantastic team.

Instructions on this contest, and how to get started (downloading the Folding@Home client and joining the Tom’s Hardware Folding team) can be found in our forums, using the handy guide created by warmon6, a longtime member of our Folding team. (And for the love of god, can someone please go read the instructions out loud to the AnandTech team so they know what to do?)

Fritz Nelson
Fritz Nelson is Editor-at-Large of Tom's Hardware US.
  • Hupiscratch
    Teaming up! Didn't know Tom's Hardware had a folding team. I use the cellphone app.
  • jazz84
    But Tom's and Anandtech are both subsidiaries of Purch, so uh... Yeah. Real competition there.
  • Titillating
    18884736 said:
    But Tom's and Anandtech are both subsidiaries of Purch, so uh... Yeah. Real competition there.

    Purch owns both companies; Purch does not own the people who make up the communities, and they are the ones competing. They've always had a bit of a rivalry between them, and the members still largely dislike each other, so why would it not be competitive?

    Besides, we're all doing this for a good cause, and it's not like we hide the fact that Purch is behind both sites. There's no need to rain on the parade. Get excited and join in, or let the rest of us have our fun :)
  • thently
    51st place on the folding team already lol honestly I didn't know I was still folding. I have 1 thats been running for prob 6 years and i have no idea where it is doh.

  • Memhorder
    Hmmm got an old Linux system downstairs wanting something to do
  • waltsmith
    So, how about a team name, passkey and whatnot. why wait?
  • waltsmith
    Nevermind, didn't see the link the first readthrough.
  • englandr753
    I havent folded in a while. Im sure the setup has changed a bit, hopefully for the better. Do you still choose a GPU/CPU app or can you do both? I have two rigs and 3 GPUS that need to stretch their legs, lol. I'll hop over and investigate the setup options now. =)
  • Tom Griffin
    Wonder if the can get packets out to calculate unlike other distributed platforms that fail.
  • artk2219
    Well, since i always have toms and anandtech tabs open next to each other all of the time, and alot of spare machines. I guess ill join both teams, and cheer for whoever wins, which is really everyone i guess?